Questions tagged [books]

Questions about the English Language, with the cause for the question found in books read by the Original Poster.

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"The last time" usage in the past narration

I came across the following sentence while reading "A Clash of Kings" book by George R. R. Martin: A few of the other patrons were giving him sideways looks. The last time he ventured out, ...
Denis's user avatar
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1 answer
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Usage of "may" instead of "might" in the past context

I came across the following sentence while reading "A Clash of Kings" book by George R. R. Martin: Whitetree was the fourth village they had passed, and it had been the same in all of them. ...
Denis's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
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What is the origin of the verb 'foxed' in reference to book condition?

I ordered a book online, unseen, and the invoice told me the book, or at least its pages, were 'foxed'. I had never come across the expression, did not know the word could be a verb and discovered : ...
Nigel J's user avatar
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Zero article usage before countable nouns [duplicate]

I came across the following sentence while reading "A Clash of Kings" book by George R. R. Martin: He liked to watch the windows begin to glow all over Winterfell as candles and hearth ...
Denis's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
218 views

What is a good synonym for a literally "small book"?

I am writing the preface to a small book (4" x 6" with 200+ pages) where I have already used the term "small book". The opportunity to use the term again arose shortly thereafter ...
DDS's user avatar
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2 answers
74 views

Usage of crutch when referred to avoid

Recently, while going through a book I encounter this statement. Try to avoid the crutch of saying "I feel like." As in, "I feel like you are being mean to me." I am trying to ...
Sumit Singh's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
100 views

What does "The 300 Light infantry" mean?

Text from Osprey Publishing, the book Saratoga 1777: Turning Point of a Revolution by Brendon Morrissey: Advance Guard: Col Daniel Morgan The riflemen had 374 all ranks fit and present out of 578 (...
Vitaly Nikitin's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
238 views

How to Read Picture/Image Index in Book

Often when I read a book and see an image or picture, there's always something like "picture 1-a" or "1.a". Sometimes it's also written in the following form "Picture 1.10&...
Sat_34's user avatar
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What is easy english book you would recommend me to read? (for ESL) [closed]

It can be fiction, a novel, or something else with a plot. At least 200 pages. It should have preferably VERY easy vocabulary because my task will be to translate a random part of this book and also ...
user492754's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
37 views

Please clarify the meaing of "the emigrants made open profession of ..." [closed]

Can you help me to understand this sentence from a book? The emigrants made open profession of ... (Judaism)
genadi mumladze's user avatar
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2 answers
82 views

What is the meaning of interpolation technique as in "using an interpolation technique to deduce facts"?

What is the meaning of interpolation technique as in using an interpolation technique to deduce facts (a book review) Rice, Edward. 1990. Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: A Biography. New York, ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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"Round" versus "around" in contexts where "around" seems right?

In Tolkien's book The Hobbit, he constantly writes "round" when it seems to me as if it should be "around". Not just in one or a few places, but all the time. There is no way that ...
Warg's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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"Why, ..." and "..., why?" meaning [closed]

I'm reading the Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn book to learn English and I wonder why he's using this "Why, ..." and what does it mean For example: "Too proud to crawl?" Kelsier ...
EnglishReader's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does "Hamlet stool" mean?

I have read this in Maugham's "Theatre": She wrote her letters at a satinwood desk, seated on a gilt Hamlet stool.    [Source (PDF)] What does it mean? I have googled it and found tens of ...
Flot2011's user avatar
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3 answers
145 views

There is this sentence in the book "Fight Club" and I don't quite understand the verbs that are used, can you help me?

I'm reading a book called Fight Club and there is this sentence that got me confused: Marla had started going to support groups after she found the first lump. Now, past perfect is used in this ...
c934's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is "almost-grown cologne"? [closed]

And when I was thirteen Shawn welcomed me into teenage life with a spritz of his almost-grown cologne, said my girlfriend—       my first girlfriend— would like it. But she hated it so I broke up with ...
Rajdeep Sandupatla's user avatar
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Synonym for un-scientific book by researcher

I am looking for a synonym for a kind of book/genre, that contains interesting information, but is not aimed at the scientific community, being polemical / political and not stringent enough to be ...
MNor's user avatar
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1 answer
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How would you write the word /ˈtɪə.rɒn/? [closed]

I'm writing a book and made a word called /ˈtɪə.rɒn/ (reading it like TEARdrop + iRON, or something like TEARON). The story is supposed to be medieval fantasy and I'm not a native speaker so I'm not ...
Eduardo Louzado's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
216 views

Why is there a space in the bowdlerised "L– ." in Jane Eyre?

I have been reading Jane Eyre recently and came across a sentence the other day: ...and away we rattled over the “stony street” of L— . There is a blank between "–" and the full stop, which ...
Sophie's user avatar
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What is the humor in "water's warm and deep" while relieving oneself?

The two men halted at the edge of the canal, hiked their tunics, then fumbled with their loincloths. Soon two arcs were gurgling across the filmy surface. “Hmm,” Xinemus said. “The water’s warm.” Even ...
tejasvi88's user avatar
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1 answer
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Intended audience for a book?

Is there an intended audience for a book, or intended readers? I want to say the targeted sphere of people that would buy and read the book. I mean, for whom the book was written. How do you say it ...
upstream's user avatar
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0 answers
54 views

A word (other than stationery) to describe a collection of 'paper, journals, books, invitations, wall art'

I am a designer and will be opening a store with 3 sections weddings, home and lifestyle. In all I will be selling wedding stationery suites (wedding invitations, place cards, menus etc) under the ...
Vanessa Grech's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Meaning of a sentence in A History of Britain about Edward I

I faced this paragraph in "A History of Britain" by Simon Schama: In the summer of 1263 the situation became critical. De Montfort and his allies had captured most of southeastern England. ...
Davood Kazemi's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
65 views

Strange case of "such as seldom"

Excerpt from the book about Paul Morphy and his visit to Birmingham: The cheers with which he was received were such as seldom came from others than Englishmen. I'm having a hard time understanding ...
Evgeniy  Volkov's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
77 views

Understanding Epictetus' burning down of the Capitol

Excerpt from Epictetus' Discourses, Book I, Chapter 8 (emphasis mine): You know, I once said the same thing to Musonius when he reproached me for not discovering the omission in a certain syllogism. ...
Paul Razvan Berg's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
147 views

What does "call somebody's bluff" mean (in the context)?

I can't understand the meaning of this expression in the context. ‘Granddad was saying he was good for nothing, every badness was possible with him, but he didn’t drink and never had, so at least ...
improving's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
161 views

What does this quote of Elizabeth Gaskell mean?

How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly! -Elizabeth Gaskell
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Is there any difference between ‘twisted, knotted up, spent, exhausted, pure solid burnt out’?

In Donal Ryan’s book ‘The Spinning Heart’ there is such description: “…she died, twisted and knotted up and spent, exhausted, pure solid burnt out from him.” I wonder if these adjectives are ...
improving's user avatar
40 votes
1 answer
4k views

Etymology of *spreadsheet* / an anachronistic use

Near the middle of chapter 14 of Murder Under A Blue Moon (2019, Abigail Keam) a character (Dexter) says, "It is an up-to-date spreadsheet of all your assets and liabilities." The story is ...
James Waldby - jwpat7's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
621 views

What does "whisper thin" mean?

This phrase is from Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe by Josh Allen (2019) and I'm not sure what it means by whisper thin. The cat was whisper thin and had a notch in its ear.
Looloopa's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
99 views

Is it a valid noun "the built"?

I am reading a book The Business of the 21st Century and came across the word "built" used as a noun. Building genuine wealth is as much about the builder as it is about the built. It is written ...
Sagid's user avatar
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0 answers
101 views

Asking about Navigate coursebook of The Oxford University Press

I got 2 coursebooks of Navigate books bellow, I realize that the content of the two coursebook is different. My question is that why are there difference between those coursebooks? Does that mean ...
Nguyễn Hữu Yến Linh's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
32 views

According to book "Wonder"

The author wrote " But I'm kind of used to how I look by now. I know how to pretend I don't see the faces people make." I don't understand two sentences, can u explain it to me? And what does "Look by"...
Vũ Phương Thanh's user avatar
35 votes
1 answer
5k views

Debussy as term for bathroom?

In Michael Bishop's SF book Transfigurations (1979), the author (in the course of the narration by the main character) refers in several instances to one or another "debussy", by which he evidently ...
Jacob C.'s user avatar
  • 565
2 votes
1 answer
105 views

How do I clarify to readers that the bolded dialogue question is a rhetorical question?

Two characters, Scythe Master and Claudia, are having a conversation in this book I'm translating. The first speaker is Scythe. (Bolded part is what I'm 87% sure is a rhetorical question, based on ...
Toyu_Frey's user avatar
  • 269
0 votes
1 answer
654 views

Book accommodation at your hotel? is it right?

I was wondering if saying "book accommodation at your hotel" is right or should I say, "book the hotel" or something like that. thanks
yair's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
0 answers
137 views

Connected speech resources

I am very interested in British pronunciation, so I am looking for resources about connected speech and IPA in general. The ideal would be a book with the transcription of dialogues or just ...
Duns's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
2 answers
4k views

What does it mean to "have an air of importance"?

What does the phrase in bold mean? This is given in the book "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens. The sentence: He was quite bald. His clothes were shabby but he had an air of great importance. ...
user337717's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
832 views

Does "no" mean "I agree with you"?

“It was papa made me leave. I am a boy and I must obey him.” “I know,” the old man said. “It is quite normal.” “He hasn’t much faith.” “No,” the old man said. “But we have. Haven’t we?” ...
Hemingway Hong's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are the names of statues italicized in a books? [closed]

Writing a novel. Are the names of statues italicized in a books?
user237736's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
183 views

Why is there a comma instead of a semicolon between the statement "'I'm sorry, I don't cry as much'"?

I'm reading a book No Apparent Distress by Rachel Pearson and saw a comma between the following compound sentence "'I'm sorry, I don't cry as much." Why is there a comma instead of a semicolon? Is ...
Paul Stone's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
227 views

the meaning of "Better off for it" and pronoun "they" from Stephen Hawking's article

The quote is: But we should have been wary of answering back (to the questions of aliens), until we have develop a bit further. Meeting a more advanced civilisation (aliens from other planets), at ...
Harry's user avatar
  • 79
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Zero articles in movie and book titles

Can you please explain to me, why sometimes there's no article in the movie or book titles, even if these titles are singular count nouns. For example: "Junky" by William S. Burroughs or "Alien" by ...
pawel maria's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
170 views

Why is the math in Winnie the Pooh's so poor? Is it deliberate? [closed]

Earlier, I was reading Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne and lit upon this passage: Piglet is so small that he slips into a pocket, where it is very comforting to feel him when you are not quite ...
Kimia's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
63 views

What is the name of a written legacy of personal wisdom?

I am collecting the wisdom of elders, publishing in books their insights and stories, focused on the theme "What does your life stand for?" I wonder if there is a name for such books. Or if we can ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Use of made up words in writing

In writing, mainly seen in novel writing, how should we put a word that doesn't exist? for example, "We're screwed beyond levels of screwedness." Please don't tell me that's too unprofessional and I ...
Calazans's user avatar
  • 201
2 votes
2 answers
387 views

What is the term for a marginal letter in a printed book?

Sometimes there are marginal letters in old books that serve as sort of an indexing mechanism. An example is shown in the detail below: What are these elements of the book called?
Emma Dash's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
17k views

How should the name of a series of books be formatted?

I know that you underline – or if you're typing, you put the words in italics – the titles of books, and that you put chapters or quotations from a book in "quotes," but do you do anything to the font ...
Plqsmic's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
288 views

Is "Even so, we’ll keep walking" a valid sentence as a book title?

I was struggling to find a good title for a fiction I write, and a found this sentence in the english subtitles of a song. I'd like to know if it's a valid sentence as a standalone, or if it needs to ...
Aël's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does “though less so ~” mean? [closed]

I’m reading a book about world history, and there is a phrase in a paragraph I have no idea: “They were mostly connected to productive hinterlands, though less so in the case of Perth than the others....
user8957018's user avatar